Giving Thanks To Your Friends

Posted on November 13, 2018

Whether celebrating your friendships or bringing together those without family in town, Friendsgiving potlucks are becoming more and more popular. If you’re hosting one for the first time, we’ve got 8 tips to help ensure a fun, stress-free evening. Plus, keep scrolling for a simple seasonal recipe!

friendsgiving butternut squash & ricotta recipe

1. WHEN TO HAVE IT

It’s common to have Friendsgiving dinners the couple weekends before or the week of Thanksgiving, but not on the same day. Guests shouldn’t have to choose between friends and family.

2. TURKEY’S ON YOU

It’s assumed that the host provides the turkey & gravy (or whatever your main dish of choice is). If you opt not to do the stuffing, make sure to delegate it. People loooove their stuffing!

3. SEND AN EVITE

It’s a busy time of year. Make sure your friends are officially invited, send you an RSVP, have it on their calendars, and receive a reminder.

4. SIGN-UP SHEET

Create a Google Sheet that lists how many dishes are needed and let your guests sign up. This way, they can see what others are bringing. Plus, you’ll end up with the right amount of appetizers, side dishes, desserts, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Don’t forget to list ice, water, vegan, and gluten-free items, if you’ll need them.

5. STORE-BOUGHT IS FINE

Be a gracious host. Don’t pressure your guests into making their dishes by hand. If they choose to bring a store-bought dish, don’t make them feel guilty about it. That’s what family Thanksgiving is for!

6. OVEN TIME

Prepare ahead of time for oven usage. Talk to your guests and know who’ll need their dishes warmed up.

7. SEATING CARDS ARE GOOD

Create seating cards. It alleviates any awkwardness when it’s time to sit down.

8. NON-SCENTED CANDLES AROUND FOOD

Keep the scented candles in the bathroom. If you’re going to light candles in the dining room, go for non-scented. Let the aromas of your dinner create a natural ambiance.

butternut squash & ricotta crostini recipe

Crostini with Roasted Butternut Squash, Ricotta and Preserved Lemon

Makes: 24 pieces

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 baguette, cut into about 24 slices (1/2-inch-thick)
  • ½ preserved lemon, rind only, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves, divided
  • 1 cup fine-quality ricotta

DIRECTIONS

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the squash on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 50 minutes, until tender and edges are crisp, tossing once halfway through.

Step 2. About 15 minutes before the squash is done, arrange the baguette slices on another baking sheet, brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and bake in the oven until golden and toasted, 8–10 minutes.

Step 3. While the squash roasts, make the relish: Stir together the preserved lemon rind, shallots, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 4. To assemble, spread each crostini with ricotta. Top with a few pieces of butternut squash and a small amount of relish. Arrange the crostini on a serving platter and garnish with the remaining chopped parsley.

Time Savers! The butternut squash and relish can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated in separate airtight containers. Reheat the squash on a baking sheet in a 425° oven until warm, about 5 minutes.

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